John Crook

The Design of Christianity, With Other Books, Epistles, and Manuscripts of the Ancient Faithful Servant of Christ Jesus, John Crook. London: James Phillips, 1791, pages 411-412.

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[p411] Dear Friends,

Being the Lord's prisoner (but I have a merciful keeper, blessed be his holy name for ever) I was moved to signify my remembrance of you as followeth: I beseech you to be mindful of your reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ, walking in all well-pleasing before him, that you may be kept unrebukable in his love, for our God is a jealous God, lest a divided heart cause you to err, in giving his glory to another: but if we love him with all our heart, and with all our soul, we shall, in our reconciliation to him, be reconciled to all states and conditions that we meet withal in this present evil world; "for fury is not in me, saith the Lord, but against the briars and thorns that muster up themselves against him; it is our corrupt and fleshy part that God fights against, that we might walk with him as Enoch did, that was not, for God took him; he took him out of flesh in spirit as he doth all those that walk with God in the light; he translates them (in spirit) into the kingdom of his dear Son, as Enoch was (outwardly) in heaven.

Dear Friends, let us not always be dwarfs in Christianity, as it were, for Christ is a thorough Redeemer to all that the first Adam lost; As Abraham recovered all for the king of Sodom, that Chedorlaomer had carried away. Therefore mind your [p412] growth, I beseech you, from little children to young men, that you may overcome the wicked one; and unto the state of fathers (which for your time divers of you might be) that you may know him that was from the beginning, that is, Christ Jesus, yesterday and today, the same for ever: if you are in the spirit, walk in the spirit, that discovers the deep things of God, that we may, after our long wading, at last learn to swim in those waters, where all tings live, as Ezekiel speaks, &c.

For the barren fig-tree in God's orchard is in no better case than the bramble in the wilderness; profession without God's likeness in Christ Jesus, will receive no better anser fro God, the judge of all, than "I know you not," if we be found workers of iniquity.

You have had plenty of words outwardly, but to hearken to the word inwardly, is better than all; for that is both able to comfort at present, and save for ever.

Dear friends, the visiting hand of God is in this town, and none of you know how soon mortality may enter into your dwellings, therefore I beseech you live as your would die, and then death will not be terrible unto you; bus as a messenger of glad-tidings to your inward man, though displeasing to the outward.

I rest your friend and brother in the faith and patience of Jesus,

Hertford, the 25th of the

12th month, 1698-9